Approaching storm could delay NASA’s lunar rocket launch attempt

cape canaveral, florida – An approaching storm threatens to delay the next launch attempt of NASA’s Crescent Rocket, which has already been out of service for weeks due to a fuel leak.

A tropical storm in the southern Caribbean is moving toward Florida and could become a major hurricane.

The rocket is ready to launch Tuesday on its first test flight without astronauts, after overcoming more hydrogen leaks during fueling tests earlier this week, the manager said Friday.

NASA said it will continue to monitor forecasts and will make a decision by Saturday on whether to not only delay the launch but also move the rocket off the launch pad and back into its hangar. Officials said it was unclear when the next launch attempt would be if the rocket had to be sheltered indoors, even in October or November.

Getting the rocket back to the Kennedy Space Center’s massive vehicle assembly building, four miles away, takes three days of preparation.

Tom Whitmeyer, NASA’s Deputy Director of Exploration Systems, said: “We’re just taking it step by step.”

This will be the third launch attempt of the most powerful Space Launch System rocket NASA has ever built. Fuel leaks and other technical problems halted her first two attempts.

The 322-foot (98-meter) rocket can withstand wind gusts of 85 miles per hour (137 kilometers per hour) on the launch pad, but only 46 miles per hour (74 kilometers per hour) while on the move.


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